I wrote a blog post about studying & a baby months ago, when this semester just started and Emile was still tiny and slept almost all day.
I’ve continued to take Emile with me to the lectures, but I decided not to attend every single lecture because it was a bit overwhelming for him sometimes.
Luckely there’s no obligation to be present at the lectures, although you will miss out on the explanations and information shared.
I didn’t want to be a distraction for other students, some lectures Emile would still sleep & nurse or make some sounds and chat. As soon as he got restless we would leave the room, hoping to calm him down again so I could return.
Today was the first day of our exam-period. As I couldn’t write any exams last summer (because of Emile’s birth during that exam-period) I have some catching up to do and have a lot of exams this period.
I can’t take Emile with me when I need to write a test, so I needed to ask others for help. (something I really don’t like to do)
Luckely a friend (who is a babywearing mama too) was willing to take Emile for most of my exams. Some days I will need help of the grandparents, as I have exams around the time where the girls need to be picked up from the Kindergarten.
Our exams only take 90minutes (or up to 2 hours if you count the waiting until everybody has a spot and all exams are in hand too), so I can nurse Emile before and after.
It’s the strangest feeling to leave him with someone else, as he has been with me constantly…. but I probably couldn’t focus with him close to me.
I have a mommybrain, it’s horrible. I forget everything if I don’t make a list and will think about all the things I still need to do for the kids when I actually need to be concentrating on other stuff.
I learn easiest by reading and writing, attending lectures isn’t the ideal way for me to learn and I will still spend hours at home re-reading information.
At the end of the semester I usually write a summary of my notes and make a brief overview of the summary for the key points.
I don’t have any handwriting notes. They will get lost, smudged, eaten, spilled upon, whatever… I use my phone and my (small) tablet and work with google drive and google docs.
This way I can access my files everywhere, nothing gets lost and I can even offer access to others if we have a group project.
For the professors it took the first few lectures to recognize that I’m not chatting on Facebook, watching cat-videos or working on other things on my phone/tablet, but once they saw how easy I can take notes with it or add a picture of their drawing, they were fine with it.
I’ve always have (or make) too little time for my study and even though I started preparing for my exams very early this semester I still feel like I’m not fully prepared yet for the upcoming weeks.
My summaries and notes are saved as a pdf file on my google drive, I’ve spent a lot of hours at night reading them the last few weeks.
It’s great to be able to access them when I’m nursing or when Emile has fallen asleep on my lap or in the wrap. No need to pull out notebooks, my phone is usually close so I can grab it and work my way through the files.
I love YouTube as a resource for help. Mathematics is my biggest weakness, I’ve failed this exam last year so I hope I will do better this time after watching ‘the simple club’ (german).
There are some great channels and you can even find full lectures on some themes. It takes some time to find the good things, but it’s a nice place to find more information when you don’t fully understand a subject.
The past few weeks I’ve noticed my stress level was running a bit high and I couldn’t be as patient as I would love to be with the kids. I took a step back from learning and focussed on ‘us’, finding new rituals, spend more time together. We started by going for a walk around town every afternoon after I picked them up at the Kindergarten. We all enjoy to be outside and they can run and play so they will be tired when we get back home. 🙂
We prepare dinner together and they help to keep things organised and clean so I don’t need to do everything on my own.
Most evenings it’s 21:00 when finally Alice is in bed and I only have to take care of Emile who wants to be nursed and carried.
Yes, there might be some laundry waiting to be folded, but that has to wait for the weekend….
Usually Emile will fall asleep after nursing and I can grab my phone or tablet to read for a while.
As my brain still feels more like scattered eggs, I can’t say if it will be enough, but I can say I’ve tried the hardest to get things done.
Little sleep, lots of learning. Luckely I will be rewarded with a long spring-break after these stressful weeks!
Some pictures of my life right now:
My sweet friend, with Emile:
Last year I prepared myself for mathematics with Alice in a wrap 🙂